You Can Quote Me On This

I’ve written a lot of little thoughts down lately, as opposed to full-length posts. But that’s no reason to keep them to myself. Here’s a list of them, and I hope you can get something out of my experiences. Enjoy.

If you find yourself surrounded with people who bring out the best in you, hold on tight; you’re moving in the right direction.

Listen and you will learn about the world. Create and you will learn about yourself. Practice both equally and often.

Whenever I look around a room of strangers, it always appears that everyone is confident in who they are and have it together. But it only takes a few minutes of actually talking to them before you realize no one does. Life is easy for no one, and the worst thing you can do is feel intimidated by illusions. You’re better than you think.

If you’re not completely happy with something in your life, and you’re not making changes, you’re wasting your damned time.

Stop expecting and just roll with it. The best things in life are usually unplanned.

Snapping out of denial is like waking up from a dream. Whether it was a good dream or a nightmare, nobody likes to get out of bed.

Every once in a while you need to stop. Reflect. See where you are. Decide where you want to go next. Cut off any dead weight holding you back. And latch onto the things around you that will take you where you want to be like rockets.

You’re never going to find a person who doesn’t have some irrational moments here and there. You just need to find one that can laugh at their self afterwards.

Never let your past define you. Take each day to evaluate your life and live how you want to live from now on, and not just how you’ve been living so far.

The world isn’t black and white. But it also isn’t gray. It’s full of color.

It seems like every time one person disappoints me, five people step it up and impress me. And here’s the key to enjoying life: focusing on those five people instead of the one.

Measure success by how many people are there for you when things get tough.

Just keep pushing the limits of patience, understanding, open-mindednes, and responsibility until one day you find you’ve matured into a respectable adult, and not just some kid who got a little bit older. Then push a little more.

Just spent some time in my dark empty house. Went into the attic and found a box of old cute love letters filled with ink from a time where not being together seemed impossible. Found a box of old video games from a time where 3D graphics seemed unimaginable. Found an old guitar from a time where learning to play it seemed terrifying. And it all reminded me that the future is going to surprise us no matter what, and we’re so much more than the confines of our limited imaginations. That’s exactly what I needed to remember tonight. To not forget.

We need to continue to be there for each other and reach out any chance we can because the best way to not feel alone is to be constantly reminded that you aren’t and never will be.

You never know where you’ll be in a year. Or six months. Or a week. Not even tomorrow. But just as things can take a turn or the worse in one day, so can they take a turn for the better the next. Keep moving, you never know what the tide is going to bring in tomorrow.

Three Keys to Relationship Arguments

Have you ever had an argument with your spouse? No? Good for you, we’re all really impressed.

For the rest of us actual humans, this occurs regularly, and unless you suddenly start agreeing with your spouse about everything and communicate flawlessly, arguments in relationships aren’t going away any time soon.

So what can we do to keep these arguments from ruining our day and possibly even the whole relationship? Plenty. But here’s three for now:

1. Learn how to communicate.

I can probably write an entire book on that alone, and we’ve all heard it a million times, so I’ll keep this part as brief as possible. If you notice a trend (not a a single event, but a string of them) that the person is doing something that bothers you… SPEAK UP! That doesn’t mean to begin yelling when you get pushed too far, it means thinking about what exactly has been bothering you, and then finding the best way to tell the person without triggering their defenses. If you attack the person (as most people do when they get angry) and say “THIS IS THE TENTH TIME YOU’VE DONE THIS!” then guess what’s going to happen? They’re going to yell right back because you took a shot at them. Have you ever had a screaming match with someone and had it end with one person understanding the other’s point? Not likely.

When it comes to arguments, the key to making an actual productive change is to not argue. Sounds kind of silly, right? But there is no reason why two people who love each other need to argue just because they disagree or because one person is upset.

Keep in mind, everything is easier said than done, so arguments are always going to happen no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Just realize they won’t get you too far, so try to minimize their frequency. Usually the only part of the argument that evokes some sort of solution is the part where both people are tired of yelling and the argument turns into a civil conversation. So now you’ve just wasted a ton of energy and frustration just to get where you should have started in the first place.

2. Accept that you’re both human beings with very flawed brains.

If you’re having trouble apologizing for something, it’s probably because you don’t want to “lose” since that would mean you’re not as perfect as you thought you were. If you can accept that you’re nowhere near perfect (and if you think you are nearly perfect, you need to cut that out RIGHT now), then it won’t be such a big deal to give up a few battles.

Remember: being right might be what’s best for your ego, but it won’t help your relationship one bit.

Have you ever had this argument?

“You said this!

“I never said that!

“Yes you did! I remember you saying it!”

Here’s a news flash: this is a stupid argument because no one has a perfect memory. If you study cognitive psychology, you will learn all about how terrible our recollection of events are. Eye-witness testimonies don’t even hold up in court anymore (remember My Cousin Vinny?) The best thing you can say is “I might have said that, and if I did say that, I don’t remember it and I didn’t mean to say it.” No one is going to win this argument unless you have some sort of evidence to back it up, and even if you DO have evidence, it still won’t matter because…

3. Relationship arguments don’t take place in court!

Unbelievable, right? You can argue all day and present piles and piles of unquestionable evidence, but at the end of the day, you’re right and your spouse is still pissed at you. Have fun sleeping on that couch with all your evidence.

If your spouse tells you that you don’t go to the movies enough with them, you can show them the ticket stubs of all the movies you’ve been to lately and prove that you’ve actually gone quite often. But who is defining how much “enough” is? What if “enough” is once a month for you, and it’s every weekend for them? At the end of the day, your spouse is unhappy and you need to find a way to remedy the situation.

Most of the time, it isn’t even going to the movies that is the problem, but something deeper and the movies are just the best thing they can come up with to explain the more complex problem. Maybe you aren’t showing enough affection, or working too much.  Focus on those things and show them that you care about how they feel instead of trying to prove that their feelings are unjustified.

There are plenty of ways to avoid arguments being blown out of proportion, and we’ve really only scratched the surface here. If you can keep these things in mind, though, you should be in pretty good shape. Oh and men, remember that any question about how your spouse looks is a trap, and the only way out is a straight-faced compliment. That last sentence actually might help more than anything else I wrote.

iCloud Today… Galactic Domination Tomorrow

With the recent release of Apple’s iCloud, it seems cloud computing is here to stay. If you’re a little behind (which is better than being a huge ass), cloud computing is simply a way of saving files to the web, instead of to your hard drive.

The idea here is redundancy. If the data is stored on one hard drive and that hard drive breaks, your data is lost. If it’s stored on 5 hard drives in the same house, and there’s a fire, your data is lost. With the cloud, your data is stored on several drives in all different locations, which allows you to access it via the web whenever you want, without running the risk of crashed drives losing your data.

This same concept is what the human species needs in order to survive. Being on Earth is like storing all of your information on a single drive. It doesn’t matter how much we archive elements of our culture, or the lexicon of knowledge we’ve accumulated over time. If a meteor, or a gamma ray were to strike the planet tomorrow, it would all be lost without a trace for a future species to discover.

The only way to avoid such a catastrophe would be to spread out to other planets, and ideally, other solar systems. Currently, there are plans in place to terraform Mars (make it Earth-like, so humans could someday move there). If humans can inhabit two planets, then the sudden destruction of one wouldn’t mean the end of human history. The more spread out our species becomes throughout the universe, the safer our species becomes.

Just another example of how humans and computers mimic and learn from each other in order to survive.